TDI Cavern Diver Course

This course is designed to develop the minimum skills and knowledge for cavern and overhead environment diving within the limits of light penetration as well as learning about the specific hazards associated with cave diving. The cavern diver course is not intended to provide instruction for cave diving environments. The objective of this course is to train divers in the proper planning, procedures, techniques, and hazards of cavern diving.



Cavern Diver Course:

The TDI Cavern Diver course offers a close look into the fantastic world of underwater caverns. This course is meant to provide divers with the training and knowledge necessary to allow them to dive safely within their limits of training and experience.

Divers UnderGround

Although mystical Caverns exist everywhere in the world, here in the Riviera Maya, we are at the heart of the world’s most extensive and beautiful underwater cave systems on the planet. Cenote Jardin del Eden, A.K.A. Cenote Ponderosa, is our Divers UnderGround© in house Cenote. It is one of the most popular training Cenotes in the area.  These magical and intriguing overhead environments are beyond beautiful; they are spectacular!

Course Structure:

Water Portion:

  • Two Confined Open Water training dives.
  • Four cavern dives conducted at two different sites and four different caverns.


The course takes a minimum of three days (two days when combined with Intro to Cave)


This course is the first step towards becoming a TDI Full Cave Diver. It is your ticket into the “Xibalba” or “Mayan Underworld”.  During the TDI Cavern Diver course, you learn the proper planning, procedures, techniques, and hazards of diving in Overhead Environments. You can explore the part of a cavern that is within the limits of the natural light zone and 60 linear meters (200 ft.) from the surface. It provides divers with the ability to have fun,  practice, and get experience diving in overhead environments, in a progressive manner to determine whether cave diving is for you.

Also, as the TDI Cavern Diver course is performance-based, it requires you to complete and perform all land drills and cavern diving skills requirements efficiently. Students need to demonstrate mature, sound judgment concerning dive planning and execution as well as maintaining awareness and respect for the cavern environment. Safety and is always a priority, and we take training standards very seriously.

Cavern Diver Course Prerequisites:

  • Minimum age to start training is 18, or 15 with parental consent
  • Provide proof of a PADI or SDI Open Water Scuba Diver or equivalent
  • Evidence of 25 logged dives

Qualifications of Graduates:

  1. Daylight zone, within natural light of the cavern entrance
  2. Maximum penetration is limited to 1/6 of the gas volume
  3. 61 linear meters/ 200 linear feet from the surface
  4. 40 meters/ 130 feet maximum depth
  5. No decompression diving
  6. Diving into areas too small for two divers to pass side-by-side is not allowed
  7. Safety stops as appropriate or necessary
  8. Maintain a continuous guideline
  9. Use proper cavern diving equipment
  10. Removal of life support equipment in the Cavern in not allowed

Upon completion of the Cavern Diver course, graduates are qualified to start with the TDI Intro to Cave course

Skills you will learn during the TDI Cavern Diver Course:

  • First, you will learn to work with a primary reel properly
  • Also, you will learn how to follow a guideline with eyes open and closed (while simulating a loss of viz)
  • While following the permanent line, share air with a dive buddy and eyes open
  • Air share with lights off (failing light simulation) and eyes closed, using touch contact communication while following the cave line
  • Remove and replace mask while also referencing the guideline
  • Show conservation, awareness, as well as exit referencing techniques
  • Besides proper light and hand signals, you will also be proficient with touch contact communication
  • Demonstrate anti-silting techniques
  • Simulate a primary light failure and use back up light to exit
  • Display proper buoyancy control, trim, and propulsion techniques
  • Equipment check and matching
  • Show adequate pre-dive planning

TDI Cavern Diver minimum certification requirements:

  • Perform land drills and underwater skills efficiently
  • Display responsible, sound judgment during dive planning and dive execution
  • Maintain an appropriate level of awareness and respect for the environment